Were you involved in a truck accident in Rockdale County and you would like to know if you can seek compensation for the injuries and damages you incurred? The best way to find out what your options are is to discuss your case with a truck accident lawyer in Conyers, Georgia.
Until then, you should know that you are not the only one in this situation. Truck accidents are part of everyday reality throughout the country, and the State of Georgia and its predominantly rural Rockdale County make no exception.
At The Weinstein Firm, we receive more and more calls from potential clients looking for the advice and support of our truck accident lawyers. National and state statistics suggest an increase in the number of truck accidents, as well.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the police investigated 415,000 large truck crashes in 2015. Out of these, 3,598 were fatal and 83,000 involved injuries. Most of the truck crashes occurred on rural roads, while 25% took place on Interstate highways.
In Georgia, truck accidents took 182 lives, with Interstate 285 ranking as the deadliest in the United States. In Rockdale County, Interstate 20 seems to fulfill this role, often reaching local media headlines.
The victims of I-20 accidents often reach our Conyers office looking for a truck accident lawyer to help with their compensation claims. At The Weinstein Firm, our truck accident lawyers know that the first step to obtaining fair compensation is proving accident liability. Call today to see how we can help your situation.
How a Conyers Truck Accident Attorney Can Help with Proving Truck Accident Liability
At The Weinstein Firm we will prove liability in the following ways.
Truck Driver Liability
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reports that truck drivers are responsible for more than half of the accidents in which they are involved. Unfortunately, this does not mean their liability is easy to prove. On the contrary, a personal injury lawyer will need solid evidence in order to obtain rightful compensation for their client, even though, as FMCSA admits:
- In 32% of truck accidents, truck drivers run out of their traffic lane, getting either off the road or into the adjacent lane.
- In 29% of the accidents, the truck driver loses control of the carrier due to inadequate speed, cargo shifts, mechanical failures, bad roads, and other unfavorable conditions.
- In 22% of the accidents, truck drivers rear-end the vehicle in front of them due to high speed, failure to maintain a safe distance or distracted driving.
According to the same source, fatigue is the main reason for truck driver mistakes behind the wheel. Fatigue too is difficult to prove, and it takes the experience and hard work of a dedicated truck accident attorney. Research shows that fatigue can affect any of the following:
Drivers fall asleep, have a seizure or a heart attack, or develop some physical impairment that does not let them perform as they should.
Drivers give in to distractions, fail to notice dangers, or miss important traffic or truck performance details.
Drivers do not adjust speed to the traffic conditions, misjudge other vehicles’ speed, or follow the vehicles in front of them too closely.
Drivers panic, they have an exaggerated response to traffic stimuli or fail to control direction.
In order to prove fatigue, our car accident lawyers look at the driver’s work diary. According to Georgia and FMCSA regulations, truck drivers can spend up to 11 out of 14 hours behind the wheel every day, for seven days a week. However, they need minimum rest periods every several hours.
Many drivers fail to take those rest breaks, either because they need to get to their next stop or delivery point on a schedule, or because they want to finish the job faster. If your truck accident attorney manages to prove that the driver who hit you did not comply with rest requirements, then this could be very beneficial for your claim.
Besides fatigue, alcohol can also influence a driver’s performance behind the wheel and leads to accidents. That is why, in addition to checking the driver’s work diary, an experienced truck accident lawyer will always examine the police accident report and check for any evidence of intoxication.
Trucking Company Liability
Sometimes, the one who is at fault for the accident is not the driver, but it is the trucking company. Although the liability of the trucking company is more difficult to prove, any truck wreck lawyer knows that, if they succeed, their efforts will be worth it.
In many cases, in order to save money, trucking companies hire inexperienced drivers and fail to provide them with adequate training. They neglect to ensure periodical inspections and maintenance routines, and they do not provide the minimum necessary safety equipment for their trucks. Some even use trucks that do not comply with truck width, length, and weight limits.
In order to prove the trucking company’s liability, an experienced truck accident lawyer will look at the following:
- Truck inspection, repairs, and maintenance schedule and records
- Driver qualifications
- Truck reflectors and lighting devices
- Vehicle markings
- Emergency equipment
- Cargo tie-downs, and side and top securement
- Tire covers
- Cargo weight and loading
Since these requirements do not apply to personal vehicles, the truck wreck lawyer’s experience in the field is very important. A truck accident attorney who has handled such cases before will know where to look and will not hesitate to conduct their own investigations if the police accident report does not cover the information they need and want.
Many truck accident lawyers have found that a lot of the time, the trucking company and their driver will do everything they can to comply with the laws and regulations to ensure the safety of the driver, cargo, and other traffic participants. However, their service providers or the cargo owners they work with neglect their duties.
At The Weinstein Firm, we understand the importance of filing a compensation claim with the party at fault. That is why when one of our Conyers, Georgia truck accident lawyers accepts a case, they will analyze all case details and conduct their own investigation if necessary in order to identify the party at fault and file the accident claim against them.
When you work with a Weinstein truck accident lawyer, you can expect them to know that even though a truck received periodical maintenance and repairs, it may malfunction in traffic. This could mean that the company or the individual providing the maintenance and repairs made mistakes or used inadequate parts.
If the trucking company has provided its trucks with excellent cargo ties and securement options and has clear contracts with its clients stipulating the maximum cargo weight and dimensions, your truck accident attorney will know where to turn next in case of an accident. It is possible that the team loading the cargo at the clients’ facilities overloaded the truck or did not secure the cargo correspondingly. This type of oversight can lead to the cargo shifting while on the road due to improper secures or the weight of the cargo exceeding the legal limit.
Your truck accident lawyer will gather evidence and go after the party at fault to make sure you receive the compensation you deserve as soon as possible and with minimum hassles on your side.
As your truck wreck lawyer may explain, Georgia laws acknowledge the possibility for more than one party to be at fault. They consider fault for the accident as 100%, and they distribute it among the parties involved according to the available damages.
As your truck accident lawyer will explain, this means that, if your accident involved damages of $100,000 but the other party manages to prove you were 40% at fault for it, they will cover $60,000 of the damages, and you will cover $40,000. If the damages you incurred reached $60,000, you will only recover $20,000.
To prevent sharing liability for the accident or at least keep your share of the fault to a minimum, you should consult a truck accident attorney as soon as possible and give them all the details of the accident, even if some of them may not work in your favor.
This way, your truck accident lawyer can prepare a solid compensation claim and get ready to defend your interests against any accusations the other party may formulate against you. Keep in mind that compensation claims are not that easy to prepare. They require solid evidence and arguments, and they need to follow strict deadlines and procedures. For this reason, you should hire an attorney to help you file your claim as soon as possible in order to give them enough time to gather the right evidence.
When Should I File a Truck Accident Claim in Conyers, Georgia?
According to the Georgia statute of limitations, you have two years to request compensation for the injuries you sustained, and four years to claim compensation for damages. It may seem like a lot of time, but the truth is you should contact a truck accident attorney and initiate the procedures as soon as possible.
On the one hand, time flies by, especially when you are recovering from serious injuries and you have other things to worry about. On the other hand, your chances of proving liability are higher while the accident is still fresh in the memory of the eyewitnesses, and you have all the receipts, invoices, and medical letters you need to prove your expenses.
Are you sure the people who saw the truck run into you will still live in Conyers or have the same phone number in one or two years? Perhaps your truck wreck lawyer will find them, but can you be sure they will remember every detail of the accident? In addition, you could lose papers, and, with them, important evidence to justify your claim.
The ideal approach is to get in touch with a truck accident lawyer as soon as possible. If the evidence you have is not enough, your truck accident attorney will help you gather more or advise you to take things slow. However, if you wait too long before filing the claim, they may not be able to gather as much information for your case.
What Does Filing a Truck Accident Compensation Claim in Rockdale County Involve?
The first step to obtaining compensation is filing the claim. It is a written notification to the insurer of the party at fault letting them know how the accident happened, what economic and non-economic damages you sustained, and how much money to which you are entitled.
Your truck accident lawyer will know exactly how to formulate it and what evidence to include in order to show the insurance company that they have no solution but to pay. Depending on how solid your evidence is, the insurance company will either deny your claim or propose a settlement.
At The Weinstein Firm, we never take a “no” for an answer. Our truck accident lawyers have no problem appealing claims or even taking their cases to court if that is in our clients’ best interests. However, in most cases, insurance companies have no solution but to negotiate a settlement.
When you receive a settlement offer, the best course of action is to review it with your truck wreck lawyer. This way, you can make sure it covers all your losses and expenses, and pay attention to any tricky terms or conditions that could work against you.
Your truck accident lawyer will most likely be able to negotiate a higher settlement than the insurance company initially offered. No matter what happens, you can be sure they will do everything in their power to secure the best outcome for your case.
Entrust Your Case to a Conyers, Georgia Truck Accident Attorney
At The Weinstein Firm, we have handled numerous accident cases in Rockdale County, and we know how difficult proving truck driver, trucking company, or third-party liability can be. Every truck wreck attorney on our team has proven strategies to collect evidence, find witnesses, and formulate claims in order to ensure the highest compensation possible for our clients.
From the minute you call our Conyers truck accident lawyer, you can be sure they will be fully dedicated to your case and satisfaction, and they will not rest until they get you the money you deserve. After all, if we do not win, we do not get paid. Contact us now and schedule a free case evaluation.